ME676 - Collaborative Engineering

ME676 - Collaborative Engineering


B. Ravi


Spring ‘20

Course Difficulty

Course as a whole is easy, doesn’t involve any theory as such. But requires a lot of input and time commitment.

Time Commitment Required

Lots of time input required, especially if you want an AA. There are weekly group assignments that are uploaded on Thursday night and have to submitted by Monday morning. Also meetings with surgeons/medical experts outside class 3-4 times during the sem.

Grading Policy and Statistics

Above 60% students got AA, rest got AB

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory and is graded as 10% of the course


None, forming a good team is key in this course. Members need to be from either Biotech, Manufacturing, Design or Computer/electronics background

Evaluation Scheme

50% to the semester long project that comprises the weekly assignments. Attendance is 10%. Midsem and Endsem are 10% and 30% respectively.

Topics Covered in the Course

You’ll learn about working in a team, interacting with people from different backgrounds, while focusing on a real life problem statement given by a medical domain expert, typically a surgeon. Problem statement definition, removing bias, working on a solution using different methods, iterative designing, CAD and Simulation, business model development, etc are some of the things taught in this course. Somewhat similar to what Prof. Shantanu did/does for the Machine Design course but more structured.

Teaching Style

Professor teaches and gives insights about the upcoming part of the project, like for example, understanding the problem or why simulations and analysis of products is important, etc. on Thursday. An assignment is uploaded that night. Monday classes are for presenting the weekly assignments. A QnA session occurs if time permits. These presentations are graded. You’ll ideally be a team of 4 people from different backgrounds with a TA mentor.


The assignments and presentation formats are pre decided, it’s very much like fill in the boxes. However, this becomes very hectic if you don’t have a good team. You get only 3 days to submit this assignment which eats up a lot of the weekend.

Feedback on Exams

No Quizzes.
Midsem exam consisted of general subjective questions (4 out of 6) from the content covered. No need of studying exclusively, just look at the uploaded slides once. Professor expects well written paragraphs, good grammar and handwriting.
Endsem was a surprise and instructions were given 5 minutes before the actual exam. Online exam was conducted as a group over a video call with the TA mentor to monitor. A question paper of 10 questions was supposed to be answered overall. Each member had to answer atleast 6 questions. If a question was answered by multiple members, the highest score was considered as the team’s score on that question. The team was given 10 minutes to decide a strategy. This again works if you have a good team and are in sync.

Motivation for taking this course

Major project, working on a real life problem statement.

Course Importance

Useful if you want to learn about the medical domain or solving real problems in general or are interested in startups and need a small dose of basic business development.

How strongly would I recommend this course?

If you want easy grades or want a good resume project and don’t mind putting in a lot of time, it is for you. For people who do not wish to take a lot of load and don’t really want to do spend a lot of time with just one course, there are many other chill courses.

When to take this course?

8th semester. Ideally, after 5th or 6th sem when you don’t have much load.

ME 676 Review By: Sankalp Aloné